Special aromatic herbs
Let's review the aromatic herbs most used in cooking (Mediterranean cuisine and other inspirations to narrow the field, because a book could be written about it!) and let's see what the best combinations with food, first, second courses and desserts, leaving out the obvious ones.
Yes, because aromatic herbs are special gifts of nature which, especially if used fresh, they give that extra touch to a simple dish, enhance the flavors and often create a unique contrast on the palate. Let's see together how to combine: parsley, basil, mint, thyme, sage, rosemary and lavender.
Parsley goes well with ginger
To be used raw or only at the end of cooking, with the fire off, the parsley it is an exceptional aromatic for first, second and side dishes. Beyond his classic combination with fish or with mushrooms and sautéed vegetables, it can also be used for first courses or more original side dishes
Example? A simple soup of rice and parsley prepared with natural nut and, only at the end, enriched with chopped fresh parsley and a mini clove of garlic. Stir, cover for a couple of minutes adding some Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
Or you create an exceptional condiment chopping together parsley, garlic and fresh ginger, add a couple of tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of salt. Excellent for seasoning slices of baked celeriac or other vegetables.
Read also Growing aromatic herbs at home >>
Basil in yogurt cream
Basil gives that extra touch to many dishes where tomato sauce is present. But let's not limit ourselves to sauces, pesto and pizzas: try using basil to create a fluffy one fresh cream, blending a package of Greek yogurt, half fresh lime juice, a little icing sugar or agave or maple syrup and three or four basil leaves with the hand blender.
A refreshing and delicate cream which goes well with chocolate desserts or fresh fruit, such as strawberries or peaches for example.
Mint and mint in the omelette
Mint, what a passion! There are those who cannot do without it even in winter and go in search of simple and invigorating mint and licorice herbal tea, to sip in the evening, relaxing on the sofa.
Fresh mint or mint, with even smaller leaves, is special on grilled aubergines, in omelette, in the filling of baked zucchini with ricotta, between the fruit of the fruit salad and also in green tea. Unusual but very fresh, we find it in the seasoning for legumes, such as chickpeas or cannellini beans, along with a good oil and lemon juice.
Salvia e limone my love
Sage is often found in roasts, veg or non-veg meatballs and meat-based dishes, or served as an appetizer as fried sage. But you tried to use it chopped together with lemon?
A simple and surprising recipe is just the risotto with sage and lemon, which is made by chopping the fresh leaves and making them sauté with the rice and, only towards the end of cooking, stir in half a lemon juice, oil and parmesan, or with a little “Derby”, if you find it, the famous English cheese with sage and other herbs. Another particular combination, stewed fennel with sage.
Thyme and Arabic cuisine
With a strong and inviting scent, these small leaves are at home with fish-based main courses of Mediterranean cuisine. They also go very well with lemon, accompanying rice or fresh pasta. There Arabic cuisine loves thyme, for example it is used to prepare labneh, a compact yogurt served on delicious traditional Lebanese scones.
Rosemary and white chocolate
In addition to the usual use for roasting, here is that rosemary is the protagonist with salty doughs: focaccia with rosemary, chickpea farinata with rosemary, bread with rosemary and potatoes.
Special pairings are also those with vegetables like stewed carrots and squash, chickpeas and other legumes. If you put a pan in the oven at 170 ° C for about ten minutes with Sicilian cherry tomatoes cut in half and sprinkled with salt and rosemary, and then you season the pasta with it, you will be amazed. You will also be surprised by the combination of rosemary with lime and white chocolate to make wonderful sweets.
Lavender with pineapple and salmon
Lavender it is used a lot to enrich sugar when preparing biscuits, French sandstones or shortbread, but also for second courses. Like? If you happen to be close at hand during a trip to France, buy a jar of fabulous lavender salt and use it to flavor the salmon.
A delicate and special combination, a type of salt that you can prepare too. A chic recipe? Here is pineapple in lavender salt crust.